MANILA, July 2 — Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Monday said the National Ecosavers Program (NEP) will help improve diversion and collection of waste, which authorities cited as among causes of disease and flooding in the country.
DENR Assistant Secretary for Planning Michelle Angelica Go said NEP could improve waste diversion by at least 40 percent.
"NEP can also improve waste collection efficiency by over 70 percent," she said.
She said such positive impacts were possible as NEP's maiden run during school year 2012-2013 already covered nearly two million Metro Manila-based public elementary and high school enrollees, who could collect recyclable waste materials from their homes and elsewhere to their respective schools for turnover to accredited junk shops and recyclers.
Such materials can be recycled into various products, diverting the waste to good use while reducing volume of trash for disposal.
"Waste is resource at the wrong time and place," Go said.
She said recyclable waste could be put to good use if segregated for the purpose.
Authorities continue promoting waste reuse and recycling, noting nearly half of garbage generated nationwide can be recycled.
Such waste include common items like carton boxes and foil packs.
Go said the enrollees could get credits corresponding to volume of recyclables they collected and turned over.
They can exchange their credits for school supplies and other basic goods, she said.
She was not discounting the possibility of using such credits to open bank savings accounts for the enrollees.
Citing earlier studies, Go said some 95 tons of recyclables could be turned over daily if each enrollee collect about half a kilo of these items.
"That total volume is equivalent to the daily load of 23 10-wheeler trucks," she said.
National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) earlier reported the Philippines generates about 30,000 tons of waste daily.
Metro Manila accounts for about 8,000 tons of the estimated nationwide volume of waste, NSWMC noted.
Last month, DENR and its partners signed the agreement for NEP's implementation.
The partners are Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Galing Pook Foundation.
DENR previously announced providing P50 million for NEP's initial two-year implementation in Metro Manila. (PNA)